Redstone Runners Repeat Winners
October 15, 2008
Perfect weather, perfect race, perfect team.
Defending its title in the government agency category, Redstone Team One took first place for the second year in a row in the 24th annual Army Ten-Miler running race in Washington, D.C. Sunday. It was first of 22 government agency teams and seventh of 507 teams overall.
Redstone Team Two placed third overall in the all-comers category. Team Two was third of 42 all-comers teams.
David Riddle, an aerospace engineer with the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, led Team One with his time of 50 minutes and 51 seconds, better than his 52:31 last year. He finished eighth overall, among 18,857 finishers.
"We've never done this well," said Skip Vaughn, Redstone Rocket editor, team assistant coach and 15-year veteran of the race.
The Ten-Miler is a very difficult program in which to compete, according to team head coach Harry Hobbs. "Team placements are determined by the top four running times for each group," Hobbs said.
Vaughn said part of Redstone's continued success at the Ten-Miler is due to the support of the Garrison, the Aviation and Missile Command, and the Redstone-Huntsville Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army.
More than 50 tents showed their Army spirit and celebrated the race in the Hooah Tent Zone. The Redstone-Huntsville Chapter of AUSA shared the Alabama Hooah Tent this year with Fort Rucker.
Redstone's two eight-member teams included military, retirees, government civilians and contractors.
Hobbs, a retired chief warrant officer 5 and the JROTC teacher at Columbia High, has been coach for the past five years. "It took me three years to get them here," he said.
Having coached for 10 years in Army teams, Hobbs is also a veteran of the Ten-Miler race and has taken each of his teams to first place starting with Fort Rucker, Fort Sill (Okla.) and now Redstone Arsenal. 2007 marked the first winning year for Team Redstone.
"I had a vision that in order to get to first place, I had to get first class runners from the war fighting community," Hobbs said. "That's why we compete in the government agency (category)."
Hobbs credits the team's winning performance to the right balance in talent, chemistry, training program and synergy. "This whole season for us was perfect," he said.
"You have to train whenever you can," said Col. Tom Newman, AMCOM chief of staff and Team
Two member. A lifetime avid runner, Newman heard about the team in 2007 and became a member. The team needed to be dedicated and disciplined to train because everyone worked during the day, Newman said.
"We had to train very early in the mornings starting at 5:30," he said. The team began training together eight weeks before the race. The six-days-a-week workouts included interval training on the track, long distance on the trail and weight lifting.
"We began winning when the team decided to include government civilians and retirees," Vaughn said.
Initially, Redstone's teams consisted entirely of military servicemembers. Vaughn's first opportunity to run in the race came when one year the Redstone team asked him to run with them. "That's when we started running in different categories," he said.
Riddle credits his personal record time to training for the Rocket City Marathon this year. "The miles paid off," he said. "This is my best time yet. It was a great race."
Now in its 24th year, the Army Ten-Miler is an annual race held the Sunday before the AUSA Annual Meeting and Convention. The route starts and finishes at the Pentagon and takes runners through national treasures such as the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and the nation's Capitol.
"It is a great opportunity to see all the sights," said Riddle. He said he is honored to have run with very talented runners. "It is a unique setting you don't get anywhere else."
Redstone Team One members, and their finish times, included Riddle (50:51), Brad Schroeder (55:00), Jason Reneau (56:59), Brett Addington (59:28), Tim Vinson (1:02:46), Hobbs (1:18:53), Vaughn (1:25:44) and Lt. Col. Christine Hackett (1:37:24).
Redstone Team Two included Randy McFarland (1:06:43), Nathan Graham (1:07:08), Jason Gilliam (1:09:45), Capt. Paul Laracy (1:10:20), Joseph Robenson (1:17:35), Capt. Laura Matejik (1:18:07), Capt. Wade Preston (1:19:50) and Newman (1:22:03).
"When you have Redstone Arsenal on your chest, it makes you run faster," Vaughn said.